Earlier this month, I proposed to my longtime girlfriend, saying that we would both be happier and healthier if we lived together for the rest of our lives. She agreed.
That was on a Wednesday. Within an hour, we had the conversation that will confront other web-minded engaged couples today: how should we tell the Internet? It’s the logical maturation of the old idea that online, everyone is both publisher and brand. This news would be acknowledged or shared on the social web with or without our permission, so we ought to at least have it happen to our own liking.
I keep most of my love, romance and emotion private. Here, it’s all about process and lessons. This is what I learned from sharing a big personal update online.
To promote his new book ‘Things a Little Bird Told Me,’ Twitter cofounder Biz Stone was at the Free Library of Philadelphia for a ticketed, breakfast event for which I interviewed him on stage for a half-hour before audience questions finished the morning.
My line of questions can be seen here. I tried to to steer the conversation away from what has already been said by Stone, a well-covered tech entrepreneur who is in the midst of a popular book tour, but we still hit upon some of what has already been covered: the designer by trade has focused on bringing the human touch to software.
That helps explain how decidedly simple Twitter is and how Stone’s new startup Jelly, a network-driven answer app, has stayed focused on getting social responses.
Ten years into the modern social media era can leave even the most reluctant digital reporter bored by tactics for news gathering online. Still, though the source gathering, link sharing and network building are common acts, there are other ways I use these open platforms.
Here are some of those ways.
Back in June, I was added to the 20 from NBC Philadelphia.
It’s a small, though clever, effort, and I appreciate being called among a select group of people locally highlighted as worth following on Twitter.
It’s a diverse group that is still changing, but the list is an interesting way to curate a list of people following, sharing and commenting on the goings-on of the city. I’ve always hoped to offer real value online and plan to keep doing just that.
It also helps that it’s a built-in community of people with communities online to share and drive traffic, audience and, perhaps, action.
On the 20 portion of its site, NBC 10 will use tweets from the list members to add perspective to local events, yes, like my amusement at the national conference of the International Cat Association. I’ll strive to offer some relatively more valuable information too.
I appreciate greatly the notoriety and impressive company.
Check the archived chat here.
Below check out the Storify, I put together highlighting some of the more interesting responses to the series of questions put out by the facilitator. As host, I was meant to drive conversation, outreach and use any expertise I had on the subject.
The value proposition is to sign in, wait an hour or so, get an assessment of when your followers are most active online. The ask might be to then starting tweeting at those times to have the biggest impact.
So, according to this, for maximum audience, I should be tweeting at noon and in the 4pm hour on weekdays
I’m left wondering if that’s the value of social media — directing your gaze to the biggest crowd, or if it should be more spontaneously. As metrics can continue to deploy
I’ve managed more than a few Twitter strategies, for nonprofits, groups, organizations and news sites, and have picked up a few basics that you should be sure to steal.
- Signing off initials — If you have multiple people using your organization’s account, sign off with initials for transparency, personal connection and ease.
- Do create regular content — Part of my schtick is having a lunchtime regular feature, like Noontime Number for Technically Philly and Running News at Noon for Back on My Feet. It’s something followers come to expect and helps you be sure to fill content.
- Do take the RSS feed from your blog and then do a second (or third) tweet later for ifferent audience — It helps feed the beast, but also means your next tweet will hit for a new audience. Note, though, that some feel Twitter should be all engagement, so sending an RSS feed is somewhat looked down on. Still, I think as long as an RSS feed doesn’t dominate your Twitter conversation, it’s an added value.
- Do tweet your content more than once — Yes, as a follow up to the item above, keep in mind that Twitter users tend to focus in at different times, from the morning to lunch to the evening or something like it, so by tweeting a story a few times (without getting spammy), you have a better chance of hitting an interested party.
- Do use CoTweet to manage multiple accounts with multiple user — the former central Pennsylvania startup has a lot of good features for archiving messages, assigning followup and forward posting tweets.
- Instead of just responding, RT a meaningful message — When you reply to someone, RT her message and add your own when space allows. This gets other people into the conversation. If no one is interested, then take it to DM or email.
- Do more often have a call to action — (usually a link) but don’t be afraid to offer meaning in words. It’s a push media, so what are you pushing? Don’t take that to mean you should always be pushing your stuff, but conversation, engagement, sharing, linking, etc. are all good calls to action.
- Do be able to share a specific point in those 140 characters — So, ‘Man speaks at classroom’ is a whole lot less effective than ‘this is how we can make homework suck less, man says,’ which can inspire conversation or thought or response or, even better, a click.
- Tweet strong quotes or (even better) hard numbers — I’ve always found pushing clear information and statistics travels better than something less actionable or more vague.
- Break quick news on Twitter — When you’re reporting on something, feed good, interesting, independent content on Twitter. When possible, sure, having a link of yours can help you capture the clicks, but ultimately, you’re trying to create an audience and you do that with content, so Twitter needs its own material.
So last night President Obama announced that the U.S. military had killed and reclaimed the body of al Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, accused of masterminding the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.
Around 10:20 p.m., I was culling through Twitter following Philly Tech Week when I saw a stream of tweets referencing an upcoming Obama national address. Rumors were flying and news began coming it: the conference wasn’t about Libya, then it was said it would be about bin Laden.
From there, Twitter took off and after 11 p.m., the President made his address.
I thought I’d share some of my favorite tweets of the night, considering it was how i followed the news, though my housemate and I watched the address online via streaming White House video:
Last month marked three months since I started at nonprofit Back on My Feet and launched a concerted effort to share more member stories and help develop a better, broader online relationship with our volunteers, members and supporters.
The first step in that process was to reawaken our social media accounts — the best platforms to create Web communities and ones buttressed by an organizational blog that I hope to more formally announce soon. Because our organization is all about accountability, we wanted to see how we’ve done.
I thought some lessons or benchmarks might be able to be garnered for others interested in social media use by nonprofits or other organizations, so I’ll share our progress below.